Push Notifications Drive Higher Mobile App Opens and Retention Rates

mobile notification alert iconThe 2013 Good Push Index from Urban Airship offers two important findings for content publishers, which clarify the need for making content mobile-friendly.

First, opt-in push notifications drive mobile app open rates per user 26% higher.

Second, push notifications drive retention rates nearly twice as high (92%) for mobile app users who opt in to receive those messages versus retention rates among users who do not opt in to receive push notifications.

The study analyzed more than 2,400 apps and 500 million push notifications during the first six months after an app was downloaded. During the most important first month after download, the retention rate among users who opted in to receive push notifications (55%) was nearly double the retention rate of users who did not opt in to receive push notifications (29%). During the six months after download, the gap slowly closes until the sixth month when it nearly closes.

Urban Airship categorized more than 1,000 of the apps tracked as part of the study into six industry verticals and found that across all industries mobile apps in the study retained users who opted in to receive push notifications at twice the rate of those users who did not opt in to receive push notifications. However, some industries performed much better. The breakdown of the average push notification opt-in rate by industry vertical was reported as follows:

  • Media = 50%
  • Sports = 48%
  • Retail = 46%
  • Gambling = 46%
  • Entertainment = 45%
  • Games = 35%

Furthermore, the industry verticals with the highest long-term retention rates were identified as media and sports, respectively. These verticals also had the highest average opt-in rates, but at the same time, they had the lowest average engagement lifts. Corey Gault of Urban Airship explains, “Clearly push is valued for media and sports apps. That said, the data suggests a missed opportunity to drive more app opens by deep-linking pushes to related in-app content that offers additional perspective and deeper information.”

Recommendations for Authoritative Content Publishers

Mobile isn’t an option anymore. It’s a priority. Download Newstex’s free ebook, The Publisher’s Guide to Mobile and Tablet Development, and start defining your mobile content goals and strategies as soon as possible. Based on the data from the 2013 Good Push Index, integrate strategic push notifications into your plan to boost retention rates and open rates.

Image: Michael & Christa Richert

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